Builder: Benjamin Hague Date: 1886 Owner: Robert W. Grzywacz
In 1886, Benjamin Hague created a home on Foster Street in New Haven. 41 years ago a Yale graduate student in architecture, Robert Grzywacz, saw that now sadly unloved home and managed to purchase it, no doubt due to the fact it was greatly devalued by its red asphalt roof shingles and cast asbestos-laden dull gray wall siding. Although inexperienced as an architect, Grzywacz saw that the home's guts were not only sound, but beautiful. Over the next ten years, there was just enough money to remove the cast siding, repair rot and prime paint the exterior, staunching further degradation. When the roof turned 60 years old a few years ago the leaks became disastrous, and now architect Grzywacz removed all three layers of asphalt shingles and the original wood shingles under them and fully reinstated new wood shingles. Two years ago, he launched into the painstaking recreation of the home’s pristine Stick-Style-from-Queen-Anne exterior in a mix of colors that took six months to implement. 40 years of thoughtful devotion has seen an extraordinary realization: beauty can be restored.
The developer of this site, which spans George to Crown Streets close to High Street, is Robert Smith, Jr., of Metro Star Properties, LLC. His architect, Sam Gardner of Gregg Wies & Gardner Architects, LLC, has chosen to feature this preserved bit of Henry Austin by giving the Trinity Chapel a central visible presence from George Street, enhanced by a pocket park and passenger drop-off set on the ground plane in front of it. Original limestone fence posts and wrought-iron railings dated ca. 1875 have also been reinstated. The cleaned and partially restored exterior of the original chapel lets it now stand out as a jewel, flanked by the more subdued colorations of the adjacent buildings, the one to the left belonging to this Metro Star project which brings many welcome newly-constructed apartments to downtown New Haven. Metro Star has mounted an interpretive plaque for both residents and the public to enjoy. History, through memory, survives.
2018 NHPT Landmark Plaque
Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ 217 Dixwell Avenue
Architect: John M. Johansen Date: 1968
The Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ is believed to be the oldest African American Congregational UCC church in the world, founded in 1820, according to the church’s website. It is to the great credit of the church that they have carried on their mission for nearly 200 years, and that they have valued and been good stewards of this unique architectural heritage for now 50 years. This faceted, dynamic shape was designed as a place of worship, but also as a focal point for the avenue and the large adjacent Daniel Stewart Plaza, by the prominent modernist architect, John Johansen, in 1967-1969.
Margaret Flint Award
Karyn M. Gilvarg
Karyn M. Gilvarg served as Executive Director of the New Haven City Plan Department for more than 23 years, with integrity, fairness, and encyclopedic knowledge of the city. She was responsible for framing the city’s comprehensive plan and for providing staff support to the City Plan Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Historic District Commission. She advised two mayors and dozens of city and regional colleagues on details of federal, state, and local projects that changed the face of New Haven. In that span of time, Gilvarg reviewed and made recommendations on approximately 1,500 applications for construction, development, and land-use changes. It is safe to say that since 1994, no one has worked harder or been more successful in maintaining the quality of the built environment of New Haven.